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William Blake And Coleridge Poetry On Grief

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Loss, death, grief, pain is an impactful subject for the romantics. Death and loss are not only of human beings but death can also be of the abstract notions. Grief and pain are also felt on the loss of any feeling, emotions or loss of imagination. Grief was different for the romantic poets.

Coleridge’s “Dejection: An Ode” is an autobiographical poem in which he laments over his loss of creative imagination. To him imagination was a natural gift which when was taken away from him gave him permanent unhappiness and a constant grief. When he lost the ability to imagine he not only lost his ability to create poetry but also the ability to enjoy life. The magical and the beautiful objects of nature do not impress him the way they used to do before he lost his creative imagination. This causes deep pain and grief in the poet. He remains unaffected on seeing the beauties of the world which is a matter of pain for the poet. Grief is an abstract notion one can feel it in different ways and on different things. It usually occurs on the loss of something and in Coleridge’s case it is because of his loss of creative imagination. Creative imagination once lost cannot be stored therefore the poet also lost his power of joy in the world. In the state of grief everything seems to be dull to him as nature and beauty have lost all their charm to him without his imagination. For Coleridge, his grief is connected with his loss of poetic inspiration. Coleridge suffers from pain which cannot be seen and nothing from the outside world can heel it and his pain is dull at the start but becomes deep as time passes. When he looks at the stars and does not feel the same joy as before he laments as his heart gets full of grief. The beauty of sky does not attract him does he grieves and nothing from the outside world can help him heel. To him nature becomes dead and lifeless. Coleridge’s grief is over his loss of his inborn ability to imagine. For him grief is in the loss of his abstract feeling because of which the world and nature have become dull and dark. They no longer attract him. Thus he is left to lament all through his life now.

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In “On Another Sorrow” Blake describes the love of God for his creation and the world. Blake describes the expression of human sympathy as a reflection of God’s compassion for his creation and the world. ‘Bird’s grief and care’ refers to an image of God’s continual benevolent care for His every creation. According to Jesus, even the most insignificant bird is fed by him. ‘Hear the woes’ means that possibly the sorrowful person’s song will be transformed into a positive melody. He observes himself as having the same kind of love that God does for all of His creation. He appears to wonder over God’s ability to hear and see grief. The emotion presents itself in the smallest of creatures and infants. Directly or indirectly, He is connected with everyone. The innocent perspective allows youth to think that simply feeling pity for someone or listening to their problems is a good enough solution. With experience they will learn that in order to help a sad person, you have to take some sort of action. Just as the speaker is unable to sit beside someone suffering and not comfort them, so too is God. God’s pity comes to all those who suffer.

For William Blake grief is in the seeing other people in pain. He feels that how can someone stay calm or happy when he finds others in trouble or pain. At least we should try to calm the person if we cannot help them. Grief can be over anything but we should help and calm others at their time of pain. Even God cannot see other’s in pain and we humans should also do the same. Pain is not only limited to human beings it is also in animal. Seeing people in grief makes the poet lament and grief as well. His grief is not based on his loss of something but on seeing other’s in pain and in difficulty he feels the pain. Blake becomes restless when he sees other’s in grief. He says that a father and a mother cannot see their child in pain and weep with him in his pain. If this is found in humans to be sad with others then how can their creator be in relief on seeing others in pain. We should have faith in God that he will lessen our pain and this time shall pass.

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